Catching Up With Ex-Gator Eli Williams

Titusville Astronaut offensive coordinator Eli Williams and the War Eagles recently concluded spring practice. Williams remains in the running for a spot on the Florida staff as a graduate assistant coach. Regardless of the outcome, the former Gators star will return to Gainesville in the near future with defensive end Rufus Williams in tow.

"We're going to drive over to Gainesville so the Florida coaches can see him," Williams said. "He's a player. He's a pretty big guy (6-2, 240) who is really quick off the ball and has strong hands. He can run for a big guy. He's solid, too. I'd say that he reminds me a little of Mark Campbell. He's quicker and faster than Campbell, but he's not as strong. We played him down at defensive tackle, but he'll probably be an end at the next level. And he's qualified."

"Coach (Billy) Gonzales has seen him and likes him, but they haven't offered him yet," Williams added. "Coach (Urban) Meyer hasn't seen him. I'm not sure when we'll go over there, but he definitely wants to go over and see Coach Meyer. If he gets an offer, that won't happen until Coach Meyer sees him."

Rufus Williams has been offered by Ole Miss, Southern Miss, and several others. Coach Williams was told by a South Carolina assistant coach that an offer should come soon from Columbia.

* * *

It appears that Eli Williams will have another busy summer himself. He will spend some time in Norman, Oklahoma where he'll assist Sooners Coach Bob Stoops with a summer camp. He has been told by a friend that he shouldn't be surprised to receive a call regarding an interview for a college job outside of The Sunshine State. Williams was mum when asked about that opportunity.

"I'd better not say at this time," he said. "I was told that there is an opening on the staff and that the head coach was interested in speaking to me about that. That's really all that I know, right now. I just heard about this."

While collegiate opportunities figure to present themselves, there is no question about Williams' coveted destination.

"As far as I know, I'm still in the running for the (GA) position at Florida," Williams stated. "I received a letter from Coach (Greg) Mattison that a decision should be made pretty soon. I've spoken to Coach Meyer and Coach Strong a few times about it. To my knowledge, nothing has been decided yet though. That would be a special opportunity."

* * *

"We have some talent around here" Williams said of the War Eagles.

"We played a really good Apopka team pretty close the other night," he added. "Our running back (Cameron Harris) had 90 yards before he went out with a hamstring injury in the first half. We hope that he's okay, but it appears pretty serious. He may have torn it. We're just not sure yet. He's undersized, but very good."

The school that produced former Florida greats Cris Collinsworth (Cris' father, Abe Collinsworth, was the school's first principal) and Wilber Marshall will have to find playmakers in 2006.

"We play a spread type offense, mostly from the shotgun," he said. "We return a few offensive linemen, but lost our quarterback and six receivers. We're starting a young quarterback. So, when he (Harris) went out they (Apopka) knew that our running game was done. We were winning seven to nothing, but ended up losing 21-7"

"I think that we'll be good though," he concluded. "Our quarterback, Jacob Younger (6-2, 180) has speed and can really run. He needs to improve his arm strength. But, he's a good athlete. His cousin was a very good player at Cocoa."

Fightin Gators Top Stories